As a landlord, there are a number of bodies and groups you can become a member of or turn to for advice and support. But who are these bodies and what do they offer?
Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL)
Supporting and representing the interests of all landlords and letting agents throughout Scotland, the SAL campaigns for the recognition of landlords as an actual profession.
Membership benefits include the chance to meet SAL staff and fellow members at local meetings, discounts on various goods and services, regular email correspondence on news and policy updates, access to online and paper resources, an annual National Landlord Day conference and exhibition (held in November) and the Landlord Focus magazine, which is published three times a year.
National Landlords Association (NLA)
Arguably the best-known landlord body in the UK, the NLA is an independent organisation looking to promote and protect the interests of private residential landlords.
It currently has over 60,000 members, with membership offering access to a wide range of products and services with various discounts and special privileges. It gives landlords the chance to meet fellow landlords, gain a competitive edge in the market and become fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.
As well as strengthening the voice of landlords across the country, the NLA’s main aim is to create a society with a private rented sector (PRS) that is a “safe, secure and viable investment operating in a free-market economy”. They work with national and local government to try and achieve this goal, as well as encouraging good practice and high standards among private landlords.
When choosing a letting agency to manage your property, you should check what bodies and organisations they are part of to see how reputable they are. At Letting Solutions, we are associated to the following organisations…
Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS)
A voluntary scheme where landlords and letting agents can reassure tenants that the tenancy arrangements they have adhere to the high standards outlined in Scottish Core Standards for Accredited Landlords.
The LAS aims to drive up standards in the Scottish PRS by promoting best practice and offering access to support, information and landlord training, to teach private landlords how to manage their rental properties effectively.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO)
This is a free, impartial and independent service which seeks to resolve unresolved disputes between consumers and property agents.
Founded in 1990, the scheme is government-approved and is there to provide redress, not regulation. It therefore does not have the power to commence regulatory or legal action against an agent, impose fines or dictate the way agents conduct their business.
The TPO is itself part of the Ombudsman Association.
The Council of Letting Agents
The Council of Letting Agents (CLA) represents Scotland’s leading letting agents. It is the largest professional association of its kind and is at the head of the lettings industry in Scotland.
The CLA is part of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL). They recognise that at times the CLA position may differ to that of the landlord members of SAL and welcome this difference. Landlords and agents are in the same industry, and they believe working together as much as possible as equal parts of SAL, the leading trade body in the country, makes both bodies stronger.
Letscotland/Association of Professional Letting Agents in Scotland
Letscotland was formed in September 2013 as the Association of Professional Letting Agents in Scotland.
The main ethos behind Letscotland is to showcase the important role letting agents must play in creating a “strong, successful and sustainable private rental sector”. The aim is to be a voice for letting agents in Parliament and in the press, forging good relationships with government ministers and those in the media to speak out about the key issues affecting the lettings industry in Scotland.
Letscotland merged with Lettingweb, the country’s largest marketplace for lettings in May 2014 to further unify the industry’s main representative bodies.
Client Money Protect (CMP)
Protecting “the money of landlords and tenants against theft or misuse by the owners of the letting agent whilst it is in their custody or control”, the CMP provides peace of mind to landlord and tenants that their money is safe. The money is typically tenant deposits and landlord rental payments, but can also include money landlords have put aside for property maintenance/repairs.
To get in contact with Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated letting agents, please call us on 01506 496006. Furthermore, if you would like to know the value of your rental property in the current marketplace, check out our handy instant online valuation tool.